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By Evo Morales Ayma
Some interventions by brother presidents of the world only deal with the effects and not the causes of climate change. And for that reason, I want to tell you dear presidents, we have the obligation of how to liberate Mother Earth from capitalism, how to end or eliminate the slavery of Mother Earth.
Speech by Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at the United Nations Climate Summit, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 17, 2009
First, to express our annoyance at the disorganization and delays that exist in this international event, when our responsibility should be very effective; Our peoples also expect results to save life, to save humanity, to save planet earth.
When we ask, what about the hosts, why not the debates, they tell us that it is the United Nations. When we ask what happens with the United Nations, they say that it is Denmark, and we do not know who is organizing this international event, because everyone is waiting from the heads of state for a solution, a proposed solution to save their lives.
And for that, I want to express in a very sincere, honest, responsible way, our enormous concern about this disorganization.
After listening to some interventions by brother presidents of the world, I was very surprised because they only deal with the effects and not the causes of climate change. I am very sorry to say, cowardly we do not want to touch the causes of the destruction of the environment on planet earth.
And we mean, from here, the causes come from capitalism. If we do not identify where the destruction to the environment comes from, therefore to life and humanity, surely we will never solve this problem that belongs to all, to all, and not only to a continent, not only to a nation, not only from one region.
And that is why our obligation is to identify the causes of climate change, and I want to tell you with responsibility before my people and before the people of the world, the causes come from capitalism.
Of course we have profound differences from president to president, from government to government. What are these differences? We have two ways of life, therefore two cultures of life are under debate, the culture of life and the culture of death.
The culture of death that is capitalism, we indigenous peoples say is to live better, better to live at the expense of the other; and the culture of life is socialism, living well.
What are the profound differences between living well and living better. Living better, I repeat again, living at the expense of the other, exploiting the other, looting natural resources, raping Mother Earth, privatizing basic services.
While living well is living in solidarity, equality, complementarity, reciprocity, it is not living better. In scientific terms, from Marxism, from Leninism it says: capitalism-socialism; and we simply say: live well and live better.
These two ways of living, these two cultures of life are in debate when we talk about climate change, and if we do not decide which is the best way of living or living, surely this issue will never be resolved, because we have problems of living, luxury, consumerism that hurts humanity, and we don't want to tell the truth in these kinds of international events.
From the moment I began to participate in the United Nations, I have been very concerned because there are presidents who do not speak the truth to the world. Everyone protests about climate change, but no one protests against capitalism, which is humanity's worst enemy.
If capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity, knowing they do not say so, therefore the heads of state lie to the Bolivian people, and within our way of survival, not lying is something sacred, and we do not practice that here.
Hopefully you, the presidents, some presidents of the capitalist system can review our Political Constitution of the Bolivian State. Fortunately, with a lot of effort, we approved and in the Constitution is ama sua, ama llulla, ama q'ella; do not steal, lie or be lazy. Being an authority is the way to serve the people, the peoples of the world, the peoples of Bolivia.
For this reason, I wanted this opportunity to express, and I am very sorry that when I have to speak from the table it evicts people, I have to speak with empty chairs, I asked what was happening before we got here, well, we have to evict, people have to be fired if they listen to us; but we will have the opportunity to make ourselves heard in other international forums with social movements. It doesn't matter, they can block us here. It doesn't matter, here they can evict people so they won't listen to us.
Okay, I want to express my annoyance. I think the best thing would be for our peoples to listen to us.
If these are our profound ideological, programmatic, cultural differences in life, I have come to the conclusion dear presidents, delegations that are present here, that in this millennium it is more important to defend the rights of Mother Earth than to defend human rights.
The earth or planet earth, or Mother Earth or nature exist and will exist without human beings, but human beings cannot live without planet earth. And therefore, it is our obligation to defend the right of Mother Earth, defend the right of Mother Earth, defending planet earth is more important than defending human rights.
Many will say, well, then what is life, but if there is no planet earth that is being destroyed, what is the use of defending human rights, life itself.
I salute the United Nations, which this year has finally declared International Mother Earth Day. It is Mother Earth. The mother is something sacred, the mother is our life. The mother is not rented, sold or violated, it must be respected. Mother Earth is our home. If that is Mother Earth, how can there be policies to destroy Mother Earth, to commodify Mother Earth. We have profound differences with the Western model, and that is up for debate at the moment.
And for that reason, I want to tell you dear presidents, we have the obligation of how to liberate Mother Earth from capitalism, how to end or eliminate the slavery of Mother Earth.
If we do not end the slavery of Mother Earth, we will never be able to resolve on life, on humanity and on planet earth.
Of course, I reiterate once again, we have profound differences with the West. But also, I take this opportunity, as we already mentioned, it is as important to debate now than ever about the climate debt.
And the climate debt is not only economic resources, our first proposal, such as seeking a balance between human beings and nature, Mother Earth. Restore that balance, reestablishing the balance between the society that lives in the world.
I am in Europe, we were in Europe, you know that many Bolivian families, Latin American families live in Europe, here they come here to improve their living conditions. In Bolivia I could be earning $ 100,200 a month, but that family, that person comes here to take care of a European grandfather, a European grandmother, and they earn 1,000 euros per month. Sure, instead of earning $ 200 a month, they prefer to earn 1,000 euros.
These are the asymmetries that we have from continent to continent, and we are forced to debate, to debate how to find a certain balance, shrinking, reducing those deep asymmetries from family to family, from country to country, especially from continent to continent.
But, when our families come here, our sisters and brothers come to survive or improve their living conditions, they are expelled. Those so-called return documents from the European Parliament, but when the European grandparents arrived in Latin America a long time ago, they have never been expelled.
My family, my brothers do not come here to monopolize mines or thousands of hectares to be landowners. Before there were never visas or passports for them to come to ABYA YALA, now called America. This is also a damage, which must of course be repaired.
So, we are talking here about deep, deep, historical solutions, I want to raise them on this issue of debt, the best climate debt is recognizing the right of Mother Earth. If we do not recognize the right of Mother Earth, then in vain we are going to be talking about 10 million, of 100 million, which is an offense to humanity.
How to give Mother Earth her right back? Imagine, in the last century, 70 years ago, the United Nations just declared the right of the human being, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 70 years ago there were no human rights.
To the peoples three years ago, the rights were finally recognized, and now in this millennium they are forced to debate, to recognize the right of Mother Earth. If we do not recognize the right of Mother Earth, all of us will be responsible to humanity.
The best form of climate debt is to recognize the right of Mother Earth.
The second component is the return to developing countries of atmospheric space. That rich countries or those with irrational industry have used greenhouse gases with their emissions. To pay this emissions debt, they must reduce and absorb their greenhouse gases, in such a way that there is an equitable distribution of the atmosphere among all countries taking into account their population, because developing countries require atmospheric space for development of our regions.
The third component, of course, is the repair of present and future damages affected by climate change, and those or systems that are destroying the environment, Mother Earth, have the obligation to repair those damages.
Within the damages, our proposal is that rich countries should welcome all migrants who are affected by climate change, and not be laying off, returning to their countries with what they are doing at the moment, because the western countries are responsible in this climate change.
Dear Presidents, Presidents our obligation is how, is to save all humanity and not half of humanity. The goal has to be to lower the temperature to one degree Celsius to prevent many islands from disappearing, for Africa to suffer a climatic holocaust, and for our glaciers and sacred lakes to be saved. The reduction of greenhouse gases has to be real within developed countries.
And if we do not develop these policies, I repeat again, we will be responsible for the destruction of the human beings that inhabit this noble land.
I want to take this opportunity to make a new proposal, I arrived two nights ago, according to our colleagues from the foreign ministries, ambassadors, they inform us that there will be no agreement here. As we have profound differences in the way of living, there will never be an agreement in this kind of meeting, there are mobilized peoples marching permanently. I greet there, in America, the American continent, thanks to the peoples, accompanied by some presidents, we have ended some policies of permanent looting that came from North American imperialism.
My respect, my admiration for Fidel, Hugo Chávez, with the social movements, which years ago stopped the FTAA, Free Trade Area of the Americas. I used to say that it was not a Free Trade Area of the Americas, it is an area of free colonization of the Americas, it stopped, it was defeated. And if we talk economically about the FTAA, I said that instead of saying FTAA should be called ALGA, you know why, because it was going to be the profit area of the Americas.
And thanks to the strength of the peoples we have defeated these policies, and here I want to tell you, only with the struggle of the people, peoples of the world, are we going to overthrow capitalism to save humanity.
As we cannot agree here, there are no agreements, I want to ask you to debate from the United Nations, a way to resolve not at the level of heads of state, but with the peoples of the world, and that is a global referendum on change climate. Let us consult the people, what our peoples say we respect, and what the peoples say is binding and applicable in all countries of the world. And that's how we are going to resolve when we have profound differences from president to president, from continent to continent, especially with the countries of capitalism.
And I want to leave five questions so that the United Nations, from the table, can and do a job to consult the people of the world on climate change.
Questions for a global referendum on climate change:
First.- Do you agree with restoring harmony with nature by recognizing the rights of Mother Earth? The brother peoples of the world will say: Yes or No. We leave it up to the peoples of the world to decide.
Second.- Do you agree with changing this model of overconsumption and waste, which is the capitalist system? We leave it to the world to decide.
Third.- Do you agree that developed countries reduce and absorb their greenhouse gas emissions domestically so that the temperature does not rise more than one degree centigrade? Yes or No. The peoples of the world will decide.
Bedroom.- Do you agree to transfer everything that is spent on wars and allocate a budget higher than the defense budget for climate change? The peoples of the world will define Yes or No. Around here it is not possible that some countries like the US spend so much money to kill and money is not spent to save lives, those are two cultures: culture of death and culture of life. And I cannot understand that the US spends to send troops and troops where it has to kill human beings.
Of course, any country has the right to defend itself, to defend itself in its country. Who does not have the right to defend themselves, we all have the right to defend ourselves, to defend ourselves if there is provocation. But this way of sending troops to Afghanistan, Iran, military bases in South America, in Latin America, is the best way to withstand state terrorism.
Instead of spending money for State terrorism, let's rather spend money to save lives, which is to withdraw money to defend life, to save planet earth.
Fifth.- And as the fifth point, the last question we would ask ourselves, is a proposal to be discussed between presidents, we can improve of course: Do you agree with a climate justice court to judge those who destroy Mother Earth? Approved, yeah over there
I already have a vote in favor. So, I wanted to leave this proposal dear presidents on the table, because someone has to judge, and our proposal is to create that climate justice court in the UN, there a court that judges those who destroy the environment, those who do not respect or do not respect They apply the Kyoto treaty, for example.
It is time to put the bell to the cat, to defend life and humanity.
Excuse me, dear presidents, I had this small intervention, we hope this contribution can serve, in this way we all defend life, we all save life, we all defend planet earth.
I want to make a call to the peoples of the world, I want them to know after meeting some presidents, here we are not going to solve anything for those peoples of the world, and my call to the peoples of the world to organize, to become aware, to unite , to mobilize to end capitalism and thus we will save humanity and planet earth.
Speech by Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at the United Nations Climate Summit, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 18, 2009.
Thank you very much, Minister, President of the Conference.
First, thank you for allowing me to speak again, like other presidents who spoke yesterday, as well as today.
I am extremely concerned about the way in which they want to try to approve a document by presidents who arrived at the last minute; there are presidents, delegations, who have been, for two or three days, respecting the forms of negotiation to reach an agreement.
I greet the words of the Secretary General of the United Nations, where he literally said: "Everyone's time has come." This is for everyone and not for a few.
We denounce from here that there are still groups of presidents who continue to work on a document from a few, not from all presidents; less will be of the peoples of the world who are fighting for life and for humanity (Applause).
I share a few words from the presidents who spoke this morning. From here we should be proud of this event, and that is working in a transparent, democratic way, to have documents that allow saving lives.
I also rescue the words of President Obama, he said: "We do not come to speak but to act." If we want to act, I want to ask you to comply with the Kyoto Protocol from now on, and so we will believe that we come to act and not to speak (Applause); that from this moment on, all the money that goes to war is destined to save human lives, and thus we will believe that we come here to act and not just to speak (Applause).
Dear presidents, brother presidents, delegations from around the world:
Here we are debating if we are going to live or if we are going to die, here we are debating if we are going to save lives or we are going to kill. And the differences, it is very clear, are in relation to the temperatures - I am not an expert, I want to be very honest - and according to the explanations of our technicians who are working, what are the differences? Countries that want, for example, to allow the world's temperature to rise to 2º Celsius. And according to the guidelines and experiences, raising the temperature in the world to 2º centigrade is to eliminate islands in the world, it is to eliminate snowfall from the Andes mountains, it is to eliminate snowfall from all over the world. It is extremely serious, and our peoples are not going to accept it, and sooner or later they are going to judge it.
Another issue is up for debate. The irrationally industrialized countries, called in other words rich countries, those powers, what do they propose to us? What they propose is how to actually reduce their gas emissions by 50%. The approaches of the peoples who are fighting for life are, at least, to reduce, by 2050, from 90% to 100%. That is up for debate, I have understood it that way.
So here we have profound differences: some only propose a reduction of these greenhouse gases by 50%, and others propose a 100% reduction. If there is no agreement - I want to reiterate - if there is no agreement at these levels of presidents, why not submit to the peoples? It is the most democratic.
I learned, in this short time as president, that it is better to govern subordinate to our peoples, that it is better to govern understanding and attending to the demands of our peoples, it is the most important thing, and it is a participatory democracy where our peoples decide.
I would dare to say, even in April next year the international day of Mother Earth is remembered, why not the countries? Let us submit to our peoples, through a referendum, these differences that we presidents have, and apply what our peoples decide on climate change issues (Applause).
Why are we going to be forcing groups, some fights, internal discussions, secret work, hidden. I really do not share the ways in which they want to handle themselves from here, and that is why I want to appeal to the words of the Secretary General of the United Nations: everyone's time has come, and it should belong to everyone and not just a few.
Dear presidents, to finish this little intervention, we cannot continue here days and days, you know that we have many responsibilities, I have to return this afternoon; but it is clear that I am leaving this proposal to submit it to our peoples; but also, if we talk about life, let's be very responsible. Responsibility lies in what? Instead of continuing to allocate money to military bases, to military interventions, that money must be allocated to save planet Earth, so, really, we are all going to be responsible.
In truth, it is up to us to act jointly, transparently, but not only with the transparency of all the presidents, but in permanent consultation with our peoples. Our peoples know their problems, but they also know their answers, and that is the experience that I have. I can share an experience of an experience of four years as president: when we govern subject to our peoples, the results are better, because we work for equality in our peoples; But I want to tell you that we are debating environmental problems, problems called climate change, and it is necessary to debate where this problem of climate change comes from, who are responsible, since when is there responsibility. And the responsibility lies with the capitalist system; If we do not understand, if we do not identify the causes of climate change, surely there will be so many conferences, so many summits of heads of state and we will never resolve that issue. And that is why - I want to be very sincere - if we want to save lives, if we want to save humanity, if we want to save planet Earth, it is necessary to change that model, that capitalist system and thus we will save humanity.
Thank you very much (Applause).